[Reuters] New cancer therapy comes of age, cost a ‘toxic’ side effect

Sep 30, 2014

MADRID (Reuters) – A raft of new cancer drugs promise better, longer-lasting treatments with fewer adverse side effects — but their high cost is a growing concern.

Drugs that help the body’s own immune cells fight tumors are expected to be used in multi-drug cocktails, pushing the price of therapies costing more than $100,000 a year even higher.

At the same time, other expensive medicines are being combined to produce impressive results fighting diseases including breast and skin cancer.

Price — just as much as safety and efficacy — has proved a hot topic for nearly 20,000 oncology experts at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) annual congress in Madrid.

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